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Peter Freeman, Inc. is pleased to present Ernst Caramelle: serious candy revisited, the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery in New York.
Austrian conceptualist Caramelle works with non-traditional materials, using gesso, wine—even the transformative power of sunlight—on paper and board. A selection of what he calls “gesso pieces” (or “quasi-paintings”) and “sun pieces” will be on view, as well as drawings. The artist will create a large-scale watercolor wall painting—a “quasi-fresco”—on site in response to the gallery space.
Characteristic to Caramelle’s work over the past 40 years is a quality of hovering between abstraction and illusion. Concise geometric formations become legible as seemingly inhabitable spaces—built of doorways, walls, floors—but then give way to labyrinthine, impossible and imaginary environments. Playing with flatness and depth, transparency and opacity, Caramelle complicates the logic of built environments. His past wall paintings in particular, which incorporate elements of the specific architecture of the exhibition space, implicate the viewer, disrupting their perception of the gallery. Contradictory to—but in concert with—that hard-edged conceptual rigor is a seductive tactility in the works’ surfaces, and a playfulness in his application of materials.
Ephemerality is central to Caramelle’s working process, and remains present in the works, which often exist in a state of transition from concept to form, giving a viewer the sense that even in their finished states, they are not entirely sealed or static, but still able to continue their alchemical transformations. Many of the wall paintings—made with watercolor—will simply disappear with water. The “sun pieces”—for which the artist wields sunlight to discolor construction paper to varying degrees by overlaid stencils that he removes over time—are still pervious, and could in theory continue to transform if left exposed.
Ernst Caramelle (b. 1952, Tyrol, Austria) lives and works in Frankfurt, Karlsruhe, and New York. Notable solo exhibitions include La Salle de bains, Lyon (2014); Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus (2012); Bloomberg Space, London (2010); Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria (2008); Museu Fundação Serralves, Porto, Portugal (2005); the National Gallery, Berlin (1990); the Kunsthalle Bern (1986); Portikus, Frankfurt; and Wiener Secession, Vienna (1993). Group exhibitions include the South London Gallery (2010); Sammlung Generali Foundation, Vienna (2005); Documenta IX, Kassel (1992); and Musée d’Arte Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1990). He will open a solo exhibition at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht later this year.
A reception for the artist will be held Thursday 15 September from 6 to 8 pm. For reproduction requests, general inquiries, and interviews, please contact the gallery at 212-966-5154 or firstname.lastname@example.org.